I first saw Ben Brown on a cold Tuesday night in May, 2013 playing for the Werribee Tigers against Queanbeyan in a televised Foxtel Cup game before a sparse crowd at Etihad Stadium. His teammate and former Demon Jordan Gysberts was the star of the side’s 85-point belting of the hapless ACT club but the then 20 year old, 200cm Brown was also a stand out.
Earlier that year, the athletic big man had left his native Tasmania in an effort to make the grade after being overlooked in three drafts
Part One: The Cure
It could be coincidental but since the AFL Free Agency and Trade Period began, the State of Victoria has recorded eight consecutive days of no new active cases and no deaths from Covid19. It might be a little early to announce that a cure for this dreaded virus has been discovered but one thing can be said with some certainty after following the ins and outs of the free agency and trading process — mankind is still a long way off finding a cure for boredom.
Part One: A very strange year
Things might have been somewhat hairy when the 1919 football season opened up in the wake of the ending of a world war and in the middle of a pandemic that took millions of lives but it’s difficult to imagine a more unusual football season than the one that ended a week or so ago. For starters, the footy is supposed to finish on that one day in September on the MCG in mild spring weather; not deep into October at the Gabba amid warnings of tropical storms and h
A- Alice Springs. Happy hunting ground.
B- Backline. Finally found the non-leaking version.
C- Cairns & Covid. How a season was ruined.
D- Demonland. Mental Health facility run by the inmates.
E- The grade you get when you don’t make F-
F- Finals. What are they?
G- Goals. Lack of them. Need a forward who can kick them….lots!
H- Hub. Where players got to live with people you can’t stand.
I- Injuries. Miracle cure provided by Dr. Burgess.
Although the Demons got over the line in their must win final round game against the hapless Bombers, they ensured it was Groundhog Day for their supporters who well remember what happened three years ago (although, this time they at least enjoyed the success of victory).
Melbourne had its customary start dominating play and having plenty of chances in front of goal, only to find itself down on the scoreboard at the first change. Inaccurate kicking, particularly from set shots would have pu
The long awaited clash between Melbourne and Essendon is almost upon us. Thirty-seven rounds of AFL football have passed by since the two clubs met on a balmy early April night last year in a game that produced a high scoring shootout at the MCG with the Bombers prevailing by 18 points. It was their only meeting for 2019 and happened at a time when the pandemic was something on the far distant horizon.
Several months later when the 2019 season ended, the AFL issued the first of its fixtures
When bottom side Adelaide scrapped together a win over the Giants last week, a tiny glimmer of hope opened up for the Demons’ finals chances. The patient was in intensive care but not quite finished — there was a faint pulse, a heart beating ever so slightly but was it enough when two more wins and other results were needed to fall their way?
The first step was the resuscitation of a team that had lost its last two matches against sides then sitting fifteenth and sixteenth on the ladder. On
On Sunday, the Melbourne Football Club that won three consecutive games by in excess of 50 points last month returns to the Gabba, the scene of the last of those victories which was a 56 point drubbing of Collingwood. The Demons got off to a good start and won every quarter with a ruthless and powerful brand of football. They kicked 16 goals that day, their accuracy in front of goal a tribute to the skills the put on display throughout the afternoon and evening.
In the four matches playe
Fremantle gave Melbourne the old heave ho’ from playing finals in 2020, in conditions that the Demons yet again failed to handle.
With the whole season on the line and the need to win to stay in contention for finals, what the fans saw was much the same as they have been witnessing so many times before — a complete debacle and capitulation against a side that sat 15th on the ladder before the game.
Promises made after the loss to the 16th placed Sydney Swans were rendered h
The ute barely made it up to Cairns in time for us to check into the motel, fling a cane toad out the bathroom. and head over to Cazaly’s Stadium where we took up our position on the wing.
There, we saw a completely different Melbourne to the one we watched on the screen only a few nights earlier from Alice Springs. This lot wore similar colours and Maxy dominated the ruck but the similarities ended there - the Demons were simply dreadful against the Swans. They started sluggishly, were spe
Having fought back into finals contention, the Demons had it all before them when facing a lowly Sydney in Cairns. But in typical Melbourne fashion, they threw away the opportunity to cement their spot in the eight with a clanger of a game.
Right from the start, there was little to enthuse from the Melbourne players, who appeared to think that they only had to turn up, enjoy the North Queensland sun, and take away the four points. Compared with the furious ground wide pressure of the
The late Norm Smith, who played in four Melbourne premierships and coached another six, was a strong disciplinarian. Known as the Red Fox for his auburn hair and his cunning, Smith was a man of a different age to the here and now. Born during the Great War, he survived the Spanish Flu Pandemic, grew up in depression times, played mostly through the Second World War and its aftermath and coached in a period of rebuilding and recovery to a time of prosperity.
Smith’s success was built on team